On February 24th, 2021, FRA acted under 49 U.S.C 20109 to ORDER that railroads require their personnel to wear a mask in compliance with the CDC Order while engaged in railroad service, specifically mentioning all freight rail operations.
Federal law now REQUIRES every individual to wear a mask while engaged in railroad operations unless otherwise exempted. Failure to comply may result in removal from service.
Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of Federal law and railroad carrier personnel may be subject to FRA enforcement action against them individually.
This Emergency Order also applies to personnel who have received a COVID-19 vaccine and/or who have recovered from COVID-19 infection.
The guidance for this Emergency Order specifically mentions that it applies to all persons in or on a “freight train, locomotive, high-rail vehicle, crew transportation vehicle, or in a railroad transportation facility, terminal, yard, storage facility, yard office, crew room, maintenance shop, and other areas regularly occupied by railroad personnel(emphasis mine).”